Stanley Coren is a psychologist and professor who wrote in 1994 the famous book “The Intelligence of Dogs”.
In this book, a world ranking of canine intelligence is developed and describes three aspects of the dog’s intelligence:
- Instinctive Intelligence: The skills that the dog has instinctively, such as grazing, guarding or company, among others.
- Adaptive Intelligence: The skills dogs need to solve a problem.
- Professional Intelligence and Obedience: The Ability to Learn from the Human Being.
Stanley Coren Dog Breed Classification:
Higher level – the brightest working dogs, who tend to learn a new command in less than five exposures and who obey at least 95% of the time.
1. Border Collie
3. German Shepherd
4. Golden Retriever
5. Doberman Pinscher
6. Shetland Sheepdog
7. Labrador Retriever
10. Australian Cattle Dog
Second level – excellent working dogs, who tend to learn a new command in five to fifteen exposures and who obey at least 85% of the time.
11. Pembroke Welsh corgi
12. Miniature schnauzer
13. English springer spaniel
14. Belgian Tervuren
15. Schipperke, Belgian sheepdog
16. Collie Keeshond
17. German short-haired pointer
18. Flat-coated retriever, English cocker spaniel, Standard schnauzer
19. Brittany spaniel
20. Cocker spaniel, Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever
22. Belgian Malinois, Bernese mountain dog
24. Irish water spaniel
26. Cardigan Welsh corgi
Third level – above-average working dogs, who tend to learn a new turn in 15 to 25 repetitions and who obey at least 70% of the time.
27. Chesapeake Bay retriever, Puli, Yorkshire terrier
28. Giant schnauzer, Portuguese water dog
29. Airedale, Bouv Flandres
30. Border terrier, Briard
31. Welsh springer spaniel
32. Manchester terrier
34. Field spaniel, Newfoundland, Australian terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Gordon setter, Bearded collie
35. American Eskimo dog, Cairn terrier, Kerry blue terrier, Irish setter
36. Norwegian elkhound
37. Affenpinscher, Silky terrier, Miniature pinscher, English setter, Pharaoh hound, Clumber spaniel
38. Norwich terrier
Fourth level – average working dogs, who tend to learn a new turn in 25 to 40 reps and who obey at least 50% of the time.
40. Soft-coated wheaten terrier, Bedlington terrier, Smooth-haired fox terrier
41. Curly-coated retriever, Irish wolfhound
42. Kuvasz, Australian shepherd
43. Saluki, Finnish Spitz, Pointer
44. Cavalier King Charles spaniel, German wirehaired pointer, Black-and-tan coonhound, American water spaniel
45. Siberian husky, Bichon Frise, English toy spaniel
46. Tibetan spaniel, English foxhound, Otterhound, American foxhound, Greyhound, Harrier, Parson Russel terrier, Wirehaired pointing griffon
47. West Highland white terrier, Havanese, Scottish deerhound
48. Boxer, Great Dane
49. Dachshund, Staffordshire bull terrier, Shiba Inu
51. Whippet, Chinese shar-pei, Wirehaired fox terrier
52. Rhodesian ridgeback
53. Ibizan hound, Welsh terrier, Irish terrier
54. Boston terrier, Akita
Fifth level – Fair working dogs, who tend to learn a new ride in 40 to 80 repetitions and respond about 40% of the time.
55. Skye terrier
56. Norfolk terrier, Sealyham terrier
58. French bulldog
59. Brussels griffon, Maltese terrier
60. Italian greyhound
61. Chinese crested
62. Dandie Dinmont terrier, Vendeen, Tibetan terrier, Japanese chin, Lakeland terrier
63. Old English sheepdog
64. Great Pyrenees
65. Scottish terrier, Saint Bernard
66. Bull terrier, Petit basset griffon vendéen
68. Lhasa apso
Sixth level – the least effective working dogs, who can learn a new turn after more than 100 reps and obey about 30% of the time.
70. Shih Tzu
71. Basset hound
72. Mastiff, beagle
76. Chow chow
79. Afghan hound
There are still exceptions. Coren share in his book of a dog trainer who managed to win obedience competitions with many Staffordshire bull terriers (# 49).
There are, again, other ways to measure intelligence.
Coren tells us about a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever (# 20) that he owned and was in some ways too smart for competitions.
“It was so brilliant and attentive that it read every movement, every turn of the head and even the direction I looked at with my eyes, as a command,” he writes.
“It made it very difficult to compete in the obedience trials, since a glance with my eyes in the direction of the high jump could be interpreted by the dog as a command and that of course, would disqualify us from competition “.
To defend the Afghan hound (# 79), noting that it may not be unintelligent, but rather undermined independently, stubborn and unwilling to follow orders.
“The Afghan Hound,” he wrote, “may be more like cats, who are indebted to no one.”